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Discrimination Complaint and Compliance Review/Grievance Procedure

Discrimination Complaint Form

Click here to download the Discrimination Complaint Form

Discrimination Complaint and Compliance Review/Grievance Procedure

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VI”) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance. The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 504”) prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability by state or local government agencies and recipients of federal financial assistance.

Discrimination includes, but is not limited to, excluding an individual from participation in or denying an individual the benefits of any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance due to the individual’s race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

The Port of Oakland (“Port”) does not exclude, deny benefits to, or otherwise discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability, whether carried out by the Port directly, through a contractor, or any other entity with whom the Port arranges to carry out its programs and activities.

This Complaint and Compliance Review/Grievance Procedure is established so that any member of the public who believes he or she has been subjected to discrimination in the receipt of benefits and/or services from the Port on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability and wishes to file a complaint may do so following the outline below. In addition, the Port’s Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator may, on her own initiative, undertake compliance reviews to investigate compliance of Port departments with Title VI, the ADA, Section 504, and other federal and state civil rights laws in the absence of a complaint on a periodic basis. The Port is prohibited from retaliating against any member of the public who files a complaint under these procedures and any retaliation will be handled promptly if it occurs.

The complaint shall be in writing and contain information about the complainant and the alleged discrimination such as:

  1. The name, address, and phone number of complainant;
  2. The name of the Port department and/or employee(s) against whom the complaint is filed;
  3. The location, date, and description of the alleged violation; and
  4. The signature of the complainant or his or her designee.

Please see the TITLE VI/504/ADA and Related Statues Discrimination Complaint Form at the end of this Procedure.

If the complainant is unable to submit the complaint in writing, he or she may call the Port of Oakland Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator to submit a verbal complaint.

The complaint shall be submitted by the complainant or his or her designee as soon as possible but no later than 180 calendar days after the alleged violation to:

Amy Tharpe, Port of Oakland Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator
Social Responsibility Division
530 Water Street
Oakland, CA 94607
(510) 627-1302
atharpe@portoakland.com

If a complaint is submitted directly to a Port Department, office, or staff member, the Port Department, office, or staff member shall forward the complaint to the Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator within 5 calendar days.

Within 10 calendar days after receipt of the complaint:

a. the Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator will make a determination of whether the Port has jurisdiction over the complaint, and send the complainant an acknowledgment letter informing her/him whether the complaint will be investigated. This letter will also inform the complainant of his/her right to file directly with the federal agency;

b. for complaints regarding the Oakland International Airport, the Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator will forward a copy of the complaint to the Federal Aviation Administration, along with a statement describing all actions taken to resolve the matter and the results thereof, within 15 days of receipt;

c. if the Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator finds jurisdiction, s/he will notify the Port Department that is the subject of the complaint and request a response to the complaint, and will begin an investigation. The investigation may include interviews of the complainant, Port employees, contractors, subcontractors, subgrantees, and witnesses to the alleged discrimination, as well as review of any physical or written evidence.

The Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator may attempt to conciliate and resolve the complaint through a mutually agreeable solution. Any such informal resolution must be signed by both the Port Department that is the subject of the complaint and the complainant. Absent extenuating circumstances, the Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator will complete her investigation and resolution efforts within 30 days after beginning the investigation.

An appropriate, prompt, and impartial investigation of any allegations filed under federal non-discrimination statutes will be conducted. A preponderance of the evidence standard will be applied during the analysis of the complaint.

When the Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator determines that discrimination has occurred and an informal resolution is not reached, the Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator shall make a recommendation to the Port’s Director of Social Responsibility for remedial actions. The Port’s Director of Social Responsibility will accept, revise, or reject the Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator’s recommendations and order the complained-of Port Department to implement the accepted recommendations.

Absent extenuating circumstances, the Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator will provide a written response to the complaint within 45 calendar days after beginning the investigation. The Coordinator will issue one of three letters:

a. a closure letter summarizing the allegations and stating that there was not a Title VI, ADA, or Section 504 violation and that the case will be closed; or

b. a letter of resolution summarizing the allegations and describing the informal resolution mutually agreed to by the complainant and the Port Department about which the complaint was submitted; or

c. a letter of finding (“LOF”) summarizing the allegations and the investigation of the alleged complaint, and explaining any remedial action to be taken by the Port.

If the response does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the complainant or the Port Department may appeal the decision to the Port’s Executive Director within 15 calendar days after receipt of the response to the Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator. Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the appeal, the Port Executive Director or his or her designee will meet with the complainant and the affected Port Department to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. The Port Executive Director of his or her designee will also interview witnesses and review any physical or written evidence. Within 15 calendar days after the meeting with the complainant and Port Department, the Port Executive Director or his or her designee will respond in writing to the complainant, with a final resolution of the complaint.

If at any time a delay is expected, the Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator will notify the complainant in writing of the reasons(s) for the delay and the expected date for a response.

The Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator shall maintain records of complaints received, informal resolutions, investigation findings, appeals, and appeal decisions. The Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator shall document actions taken to resolve each complaint and maintain copies of complaints and documentation of their resolution for a period of not less than two (2) years.

The Port Civil Rights Compliance Coordinator (through the Executive Director) shall furnish a report to the Board of Port Commissioners at least annually regarding the number, nature, and status of complaints.

These procedures do not deny the right of the complainant to file a complaint with state or federal agencies, or to pursue litigation for complaints alleging discrimination, intimidation, or retaliation of any kind that is prohibited by law.

Discrimination Complaint Form

Click here to download the Discrimination Complaint Form

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